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Series / Grace and Frankie

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Grace and Frankie is a Netflix original series, co-created by Marta Kauffman (Friends).

It stars Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin as two rivalrous women whose business partner husbands (Martin Sheen & Sam Waterston) suddenly leave them for one another after admitting to their decades-long affair. With nowhere else to go, both women end up moving into their shared beach house together, and hilarity ensues.

The show currently consists of 5 seasons, with a sixth season now in development for release in 2020.


Tropes appearing in the series:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Much of the end of Season 2 and Season 3's main story arc involve Grace and Frankie developing a line of vibrators. Because of arthritis.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • Coyote is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. Mal even refers to him as "the alcoholic", though he's recovering as of the show's timeline.
    • Grace is a seasoned Functional Addict, although her unhealthy drinking habits get a harsher look in Season 2.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Although Grace is generally a Functional Addict, Grace gets unusually wasted in "The Bender", and her normal tendency to be waspish and emotionally unavailable gets awesomely magnified into extreme bitchiness and verbal cruelty to Frankie. She's uncharacteristically ashamed of the incident.
  • All Gays Are Promiscuous: Defied; Robert experimented with other men during a brief period away from Sol, but prefers married life.
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  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The source of Grace's attraction to Byron in episode 6, along with a touch of Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex during an earthquake (a mild example, as they just make out a bit). His blue eyes don't hurt, either.
  • Amusing Injuries: In Season 3, Frankie throws her back out and Grace throws out her own trying to help her. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: If they can leave off the bickering.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A sweet one happens when Robert is having breakfast with Sol in Sol's crappy house after they've reconciled with each other after their breakup, and the upstairs neighbour turns on really loud hip-hop. Robert asks Sol if this happens a lot, and Sol replies "Every day." Robert gets up, looking like he's about to go upstairs and go all lawyer on their asses...and then he holds out his arms and invites Sol to dance with him.
  • The Bartender: Billie, introduced as a plot device in season 2 to help Grace learn something about herself. Comes into her own as this trope later when she realises that she actually likes tending bar, and even later when Grace goes on a bender. She also appears to be the Bouncer.
  • Berserk Button: Frankie hates being talked about in the third person.
  • Big Fancy House: Both the beach house and the respective houses the pair left.
  • Bottle Episode: "The Lockdown" takes place in two locked scenarios: While Grace, Frankie, Sol and Robert, as well as the neighbor couple Jo and Oliver, are locked in an awkward situation Explanation . Meanwhile, Bud, Mallor, Allison and Coyote are stuck in Bud's apartment and have to deliver Allison's baby without Frankie's help.
  • Bourgeois Bohemian: Frankie, full stop. Including vision quests, flowy gowns, and ringing bowls.
  • Brick Joke: The yurt. Mentioned again in Season 3.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Shows signs of kicking in in Season 2, with storylines that take a serious look at infidelity, alcoholism, the difficulty of having your own life if your partner has Alzheimer's Disease, etc.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Or possibly Obfuscating Stupidity on Brianna's part:
    Frankie: And you know who lives in the rainforest? Oh, I don’t know. Only our cousins!
    Brianna: ...The Fleigelmans?
    Frankie: The orangutans!
  • Cool Old Lady: But of course, considering the leads.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Frankie and Brianna are the champions.
    Robert: Well, it is what it is.
    Brianna: Great talk, dad.
    • When Grace comments that Mallory has put on weight:
      Brianna: Did my mother just call my sister fat? Aside from my father almost dying, this is the best day of my life.
  • Divorce Assets Conflict: Robert and Sol are lawyers, so there is quite a lot of this.
  • Driven to Suicide: Grace and Frankie's old friend Babe decides to commit suicide after her cancer returns rather than suffer through treatment again.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Frankie's new boyfriend, Jacob, clearly dislikes her best friend Grace. In this case, this seems to stem from the fact that he thinks that Grace is a toxic influence to Frankie, rather than her taking over Frankie's time, though that starts becoming a problem when they open a business together.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Discussed In-Universe. While trying to figure out what to do after they both throw their backs out, Frankie tells Grace a story about a man whose wife was injured in the tub and he hurt himself trying to help.
    They both died.
  • Funny Background Event: In "The Spelling Bee," while Frankie and Grace, the announcer of the spelling bee playing in the background says, "The word is 'negus.'" This is a reference to a viral video of a boy terrified of spelling the word in a spelling bee.note 
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Discussed. Brianna rightly points out that there would be a lot more drama if Robert and Sol had been cheating with women for the past 20 years. Bud later realizes she is right and calls Robert and Sol out on it.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Grace gets intimidated by Grandma Jean, Mallory's kids' other grandma, who's much better at playing with them, can talk to them on their own level and who, unlike Grace, knows better than to pretend to be a clown (because of Mallory's son Macklin's coulrophobia.) Then Frankie points out to her that she's not that kind of grandma: she's the "kind with a drinking problem that inspires them to grow up and become writers." This pays off when Grace realises that Macklin regards her as wise and knowledgeable rather than fun. She also learns from Mallory she had said something horrible 5 years earlier about her not having anymore children because she apparently needed to start her life again, so Mallory decided to keep it from her that she was pregnant at first.
  • Happily Adopted: Bud and Coyote, more or less.
  • After Frankie was upset when she realized the genetic connection between Coyote and his birth mother, Coyote says that Frankie is his mother.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: Sol and Robert. Several times per episode.
    "I'm never allowed to not be coming out, am I?" note 
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Subverted. Frankie attempts to drown her sorrows with a carton of Ben&Jerry's, soaked in alcohol. She opts for peyote tea instead. Mushroom Samba ensues.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Along with a dose of the Odd Couple, once the pair move into the beach house together.
  • Hypocrite: Robert kicks Sol out after he cheats on him with Frankie, despite the fact that they cheated on Grace and Frankie for 20 years. Grace even calls him out on it.
  • I Call It "Vera": Grace has a secret gun named Louise.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: At the end of Season 3, Grace urges Frankie to move to Santa Fe and live happily ever after with Jacob—even though the idea of life without Frankie clearly devastates her.
  • I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!: When Grace gets rat-arsed on martinis in her favourite bar one morning, Billie the bartender refuses to serve her any more drinks, and Grace invokes this trope (although she doesn't use these exact words.)
  • Imagine Spot: In episode 5, Grace has a fall at the frozen yogurt shop. She breaks her hip and the bickering continues in the hospital. When Grace panics at her MRI, Frankie runs in and stays with her. Turns out it was all her imagination.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Guy.
  • Irishman and a Jew: Both Grace and Frankie's and Robert and Sol's interactions count as this trope.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Robert and Sol canceling Grace and Frankie's credit cards. Not only have they, as attorneys, advised others to do the same, but did so to prevent impulsive large purchases, but Frankie was known by both families to make such large purchases under distress, such as the aforementioned yurt.
    • Brianna fires Frankie from the team developing Frankie's vaginal lube, but only because Frankie, who doesn't like the fact that the company has added environmentally unfriendly palm oil to her lube, decides to register her dissatisfaction by rubbing blood (or something that looks like blood) all over her arms during an important meeting with a customer and claiming it's the blood of orang-utans killed in the process of deforestation. As Brianna (and subsequently Grace) points out to her, this was an incredibly stupid and juvenile way of raising the issue, and it hasn't helped the environment in any way: all it's done is seriously damage a business relationship that Brianna has spent years establishing.
  • Jerkass Realization: Grace refuses to take part in Babe's last party before she commits suicide since it goes against her beliefs but then realizes how selfish she's being after being called out by Frankie and Briana about her lack of unconditional love.
    • Briana to after Frankie leaves the lube project because using palm oil goes against her beliefs and gets nothing out of it. Briana tries to make amends by funding Grace and Frankie's vibrators.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Briana is a rather snarky and unpleasant person at times, but she never likes to hurt those close to her. After she kicked Frankie off her lube project, she really felt remorseful since Frankie was like a mother to her. She tries to make amends by funding her and her mother's vibrators.
    • Grace too. She's a more business type of person who has her own standards in how people should behave. But she eventually warms up to others more and tries to put her own beliefs aside for what is right.
  • The Lad-ette: Billie is a very Hollywood version, down to the multiple facial piercings, the penchant for quasi-military clothing, the short hair and the fact that she works as a bartender.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Brianna.
    Brianna: I lost both of my virginities in this house.
  • Mama Bear: Frankie becomes this when defending Coyote after he is hurt by his birth mother. She calls her out for getting Coyote's hopes up about being part of her life and then refusing to even tell her family of his existence, even lying to them about going to see a play rather than to meet Coyote.
  • Marijuana Is LSD: When Grace hate-smokes Frankie's pot, once it (finally) kicks in she laughs uncontrollably at the hole in Frankie's face.
  • Meaningful Name: Grace is graceful, Frankie is frank. Sol is sunny. Coyote is homeless.
  • No Bisexuals: Despite 40 years of marriage with multiple children and only 20 years of gay infidelity, no one ever thinks to call Sol or Robert anything but gay.
  • Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Averted in the first scene of the first episode, and by the main premise of the show.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever Coyote did when drunk, it was bad. he got drunk and crashed his car on Mallory's lawn, then begged her not to marry that guy, after she was already married with a kid on the way.
    • It's also implied in an episode that Coyote impregnated Mallory one summer and she had an abortion. It was brought up when Mallory was pregnant with Madison and that both agree never to speak of it.
    • Frankie's yurt, as of season 3. "It exploded."
  • Protected by a Child: Bud is very much into this trope when it comes to anyone hurting Frankie, and with good reason. As he points out to her, "Dad is the nicest guy in the world, and he broke your heart." For this reason he's deeply suspicious of Jacob, who Coyote immediately warms to. [[note]]When Grace comes home drunk in the middle of Jacob having lunch with Frankie, Bud and Coyote, and starts being incredibly obnoxious to Frankie: after patiently sitting there for several minutes while Grace is being a Jerkass, Jacob finally says "All right, that's enough", picks Grace up and carries her outside. Bud turns to Frankie and mutters "I love him."
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Brooklyn Decker's pregnancy was written into the show with Mallory being pregnant with twins. The difference is Decker was pregnant with only one child.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Frankie is Red, Grace is Blue.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sol and Robert respectively. Funnily enough, Robert is the one who's actually interested in the more stereotypical aspects of LGBT culture.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Billie, or so Grace thinks, anyway. Turns out that Billie is far more comfortable in her camo pants and wife-beater than in a business suit.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Brianna & Mallory and Bud & Coyote. Brianna is a tough businesswoman with no desire to even be around kids, while Mallory is a housewife and mother of four. Bud is responsible lawyer, whereas Coyote is a former professor who had problems with drugs and alcohol and is now a substitute teacher.
  • Spelling Bee: Frankie and Sol watch every year.
  • Straight Gay: Robert and Sol, for twenty years.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: "Stuck in the Middle With You," covered by Grace Potter.
  • A Threesomeis Hot: Season 4 ends with Sol and Robert having a threesome with their very good looking friend Roy. Subverted when they back out of it in Season 4 premiere.
  • Wham Episode: The Season 4 finale. Grace and Frankie are pushed into moving into a home, when they realize their kids tricked them into it, they escape to find their house sold.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In season 3, Grace tells Sol that running a business and being with Frankie is all she needs to be happy. Mere minutes later, Frankie tells Grace she's thinking about moving away to start a new life in Santa Fe.

Example of: